Parisian Kit: In Search Of Lost Time


“Because Paris offers real style…”

Parisian Kit essentials are for RedHerring in search of lost time. It is a game of fox & hounds. With the disappearance of Parisian stalwarts such as Old England and Arnys, we corralled a group of Parisian dandies to ferret out where you should shop. Our panel dropped names of bespoke tailors, shoemakers, and hidden gems. In certain circles, each member is known for his exquisite taste on all matters Parisian.

One chalk-stripped fellow rattled off ubiquitous luxury brands. To which another hipster almost choked on his espresso. Wiggling his nose, he retorted: “Too plebeian”. Needless to say, no panel member frequented department stores. As you can see, our panel is spoiled on craftsmanship.

Ironically, Paris is better known for women’s haute couture. Despite the city’s well-heeled reputation, there are Parisian treasures to entice chaps of good standing. So why is the Parisian gents scene so different from other cities?


“When you’re cruising like there’s no mañana…”

For starters, our panel agreed that there is no one neighborhood to investigate. Pedigree menswear is scattered about. If you are looking for great street wear, then I would direct you to the Haut Marais. You should know that tailors worth a detour are not at street level. You must have the address.

In my experience, Parisian gents are quite discrete. In general, the French do not discuss their tailors. Nor for that matter, will they babble about where their shirts are made. Cognescenti know. They spy out the notched lapel and the width of the trouser leg. Shirt buffs examine collars. I know one fellow who has a keen eye for pearl buttons. He is so extreme that he works up a sweat by examining their size, and the manner they were sewn to the shirt front. Experts among experts, you might say. As you can appreciate, Parisian aesthetics are a question of style.

Fashion hounds can cite for you the latest trendy brands. Fanatics focus on artisans, who are not household names. For example, if I was in London, I could identify a gents tailor by the cut. Stylish men can easily spot the difference between a suit cut at Edward Sexton or Anderson & Sheppard. Similarly in Paris, aficionados can identify the cut of Camps de Luca from somebody else. So what’s all the fuss? It comes down to details and personal taste.

Some chaps absolutely adore their jackets waisted. It is a hallmark of fine London tailoring. Others prefer the Neapolitan sense of aesthetics. The Italians have come to specialize in soft shoulders. They give a sense of weightlessness to their garments. Parisian tailors however, have borrowed ideas from both traditions. By doing so, they have articulated their own voice. Therefore, it is harder for a layman to quantify as uniquely Parisian. Suits with that certain je ne sais quoi are for the purists at heart.

Next, there is the issue of cost. Start to think of clothes as an investment. Not that English or Italian tailors are inexpensive. They are not. However, Parisian tailors are pricey. I do however, have recommendations to share. They clearly deliver value for money depending on your budget.

My first counsel is to visit Husbands on the rue Manuel. Nicolas, who owns and runs this place, is fashion savvy. He is also quite the gentleman. With spring on the way, he can update your wardrobe with style. His attitude is preppy modern.


“When something amber is called for…”

My second great discovery is Jean-Emmanuel Moreau. This Parisian gem is just off the rue Marboeuf. You will undoubtedly find his establishment suave. In Jean-Emmanuel’s hands, you will leave with a keen sense of sprezzatura and a pashmina scarf worthy of a prince.

If you fancy bright colors, check out Cifonelli. Hugo Jacomet of the Parisian Gentleman is a big fan. Craft and attention to detail really do matter here. Hugo recently stated: “In the last five years, the scene has changed. Houses such as Cifonelli have had an influx of young customers. They are highly educated about bespoke. I put his down to more mainstream media coverage. A dusty trade has become aspirational again.”

His comments indicate an attitudinal shift among Parisian men. The younger set have started to care again about their appearance. They are unafraid to shop online, follow style blogs, and love Parisian tailors.

Cifonelli is run by Lorenzo and with his cousin Massimo. They have a stylish boutique at street level. Their pret-a-porter is to die for. The apparel is vibrant and contemporary. Their workshop is one floor up and is a tribute to the tailor’s art. Clients have a tendency to prefer lightweight cloths with little structure. The roped shoulder tilted slightly forward is a Cifonelli trademark.

Each coat is cut clean, fitting the chest and waist. Eager to experiment with a more youthful approach to clothing, Lorenzo has come up with designs featuring different pockets, trims and fastenings. These details fascinate the young professional. They clearly make Cifonelli easily recognizable at 100 paces. Whether you like all these bells & whistles is a question of personal taste.

One thing is certain. Here is a straight shooter, no chaser. Perfect for the essential Parisian kit.

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Article Title: Parisian Kit: In Search For Lost Time
Photographs: (1)(3)jeanemmanuelmoreau (2)curated by ES

About The Author
Andrew Scharf shares enchanting stuff on the topics of marketing, innovation, talent development, coaching, enchantment, and craftsmanship. He is also the head Koi at RedHerring, a digital communications agency under the WCW Group brand.

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Visit RedHerring: Life In The Fast Lane

Dateline Naples: Fancy Ties Under The Volcano


“This fashion scene is getting ready to blow…”

You may claim that you have better things to do than to fly down to Naples in order to buy ties. All the more reason to discuss gents neckwear with Maurizio Marinella. He is affable and his store is charming. If you need further incentive, there are the beautiful women. Think Sophia Loren. Every beautiful woman loves a well-dressed gent who recognizes that fashion means the right tie. It certainly adds panache to any suit. Call it the perfect choreography to good taste.

Marinella ties have become such a phenomenon, that more than one luxury group has proposed to buy this establishment. Fortunately, he has not succumbed. Berlutti and Moyat might be new editions to the “brand is mightier than the sword”, but Maurizio Marinella doesn’t believe this is the way forward.

He is a gentleman who knows that quality cannot be mass produced and prefers to maintain the highest standards. His shop sits in the Chaia district, which is the chicest neighborhood in the city. His grandfather opened this boutique in 1914. Now, you can’t beat that for genuine heritage.

“We grow up with the fear that we will be considered people who only have mandolins, make pizza and mozzarella”, states Maurizio. “But actually I, and many others like me, show that there is also a Naples that produces, that works, that gets up at six in the morning, and still manages to be successful on an international level.”


“Where shopping is always paradise…”

Unlike other manufacturers of ties, his are clearly in another league. The rich and the famous have all paid house calls: Bill Clinton, Luchino Visconti, Aristotle Onassis, Gabriele D’Annunzio, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, and Giovanni Agnelli. His business is a lesson in sustainability. Call it “small is beautiful”. Why tamper with excellence? Many pundits have asked him why he doesn’t open a chain of boutiques to satisfy global demand.

“Because I am a craftsman and I wish to remain a craftsman”, replies Maurizio Marinella. “I am not interested in large numbers and I would rather keep the tradition alive and fruitful, together with the magic that accompanies it.”


“Because panache is Neapolitan style…”

Considering the price of a tie from Hermes, I wondered how much does a Marinella cost? The answer is surprising: “Between 80 and 90 euros. Less than many ties produced industrially by some of the great names of Italian and French fashion.”

I wondered, is it possible to survive on just selling ties? The answer is a demonstrative “yes”. There’s an attitude you can count on. I won’t suggest that you throw out your current tie collection, but I would give serious consideration to giving them to charity and heading off to Naples. The firm also does some rather nice cuff links. Still need another reason to fly down to Naples? Capri is just a stone’s throw across the bay and is picture perfect.

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Article Title: Dateline Naples: Fashion Under The Volcano
Photographs: curated by ES

About The Author
Andrew Scharf shares enchanting stuff on the topics of marketing, innovation, talent development, coaching, enchantment, and craftsmanship. He is also the head Koi at RedHerring, a digital communications agency under the WCW Group brand.

For further inspiration
Visit RedHerring: Life In The Fast Lane

Applying to Fashion School


“Everyone wishes they had an uncle named Giorgio…”

Experience has taught me that there isn’t a royal road if you plan to work in fashion, design, or style. The classic path is study at the best possible fashion school you can get admitted to. An alternative path is to choose an outstanding liberal arts education and pepper your studies with internships.

One of my favorites is the Giorgio Armani school of design. No folks, I am not making fun. Giorgio has no official school. What I mean is kick start your career the way he did: Be an apprentice to someone. Learn to sew, cut, and study design the old fashioned way.

No one can teach you good taste. For some it is innate, but even if you have talent in this direction, you need to nurture your abilities in the right environment. Creativity can be cultivated in a multitude of cross-disciplinary ways.

What a fashion school can provide is an aesthetic and intellectual environment to give you the tools and the community to grow your talent. Build a foundation in the fundamentals and learn the mechanics. More importantly, learn how to run a successful business. At some point, you will need to know about sourcing, manufacture, logistics, and the rest.

Finding the right school however, can be a difficult task. We’d like to help. So I had one of our guys draw up a list of the usual suspects, which you can consult on our blog under the title, Fashion School Rankings.

This list highlights more than classic design schools. At most of these institutions you can learn marketing, style, textiles, brand management as well as get a solid grounding in IT.

Fashion School Rankings should just serve you as a list to start your investigation. We asked fashion people what they recommended. They responded that you should pay more attention to the application requirements, tuition costs, demographics and location. Not all schools are the same. So what’s the message: If you want to be in fashion, you will need skills, a powerful network and talent.

Prices vary. Living in London, Paris or New York is a different kettle of fish than say studying in Helsinki.

How To Apply
Application requirements are similar. What you need is a stellar portfolio, High School diploma or Baccalaureate from a decent Lycée, letters of recommendation, and a powerful letter of motivation. Most programs are delivered in English, but not all.

If you have questions or need help with the details, drop us a line.
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Article Title: Applying To Fashion School
Photograph source: style-trumps-fashion

About The Author
Andrew Scharf is a regular contributor on Talent Development | Career Management | Personal Brand Management | Life & Career Coaching | MBA Admissions |

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